by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Required to compete in the three day qualification tournament, Patrick Franziska beat Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the no.9 seed, in a hard fought six games contest(11-9, 9-11, 7-11, 15-13, 13-11, 11-6).
“It was a very close match. I never gave up, I was behind in every game. I had the feeling that he was always a little better than me. I just tried to keep up. I wasn’t that sparkling as in recent days, not that good with the feeling but I managed to stay positive. I tried to find my speed, my sparkle and tried to never give up. In the end the difference was that I was confident in difficult and close situations and made good decisions. At the moment I’m very confident. I have played very constantly during the last month, I’m not injured, which is the most important and I know that I can come back no matter what the score.” Patrick Franziska
The success been gained by Patrick Franziska came after Ruwen Filus, likewise a qualifier had experienced defeat at the hands of Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson, the no.16 seed (14-12, 11-5, 15-13, 8-11, 11-7).
“We are friends and we play a lot together, we know each other quite well and statistically I’m okay against defence players, so it was definitely okay. My tactic was to play powerful shots and it worked out very well today.” Kristian Karlsson
Success for Kristian Karlsson as status anticipated; it was the same for Frenchman Simon Gauzy and China’s Xu Xin.
Simon Gauzy, the no.7 seed, accounted for Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit in an exacting seven games duel (11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-5); Xu Xin, the no.3 seed, ended the hopes of Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik (11-5, 11-5, 11-8, 11-2). Both Ho Kwan Kit and Jeoung Youngsik had been required to compete in the qualification tournament.
“I am quite familiar with him because we were in the same club in the Chinese Table Tennis Super League; when you know a foreign player better, you prepare better. He always seems to be in a good form. Today when I played against him, I was positive, I didn’t think too much because of my higher ranking. Instead, I told myself to fight and take the initiative. I think the matches are a bit too early in the day; however, as a Chinese player it does not matter about the arrangement.” Xu Xin
At the quarter-final stage Patrick Franziska meets Kristian Karlsson; Simon Gauzy opposes Xu Xin. The matches will be played later in the day.